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Poor finishing could cost Lesotho COSAFA honours

Moses MalieheBy Moorosi Tsiane

MASERU — Poor finishing has landed the Lesotho national Under-20 side, Makoanyane XI, in a compromised position of the Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Under-20 youth championships which began on Tuesday in Maseru.

Makoanyane XI is in pool A with the likes of Comoros Islands, Mauritius and the tournament guests from Eastern Africa, Kenya.

In their last group encounter Lesotho will face Mauritius in a do or die tomorrow game at Seeiso Leshoboro Stadium.

Although the team has not lost a game, it has only been able to score three goals in the competition so far, having twice come from behind in the two games played.

In the last two friendly games played prior to the tournament, the national side managed to convert only one strike when they were held to a one-all draw by Swaziland before playing to a goalless draw with Mozambique.

For the home side to cruise into the next stage of the tournament they have to score no less than at least five goals against Mauritius and win that game.

This has been a worrying factor for the coach; Moses Maliehe for the past four matches the team played.

Poor finishing was the main hurdle in the home side’s failure to secure victory in Tuesday’s tie with the Comoros Island after creating a myriad of chances failing in the last third of the pitch.

The same feat befell Maliehe’s boys as they overcame pressure, created numerous goal scoring opportunities which they failed to convert in a game against Kenya in Mafeteng on Friday.

Maliehe admitted to this newspaper that his team seem to lack composure on the last third of the pitch.

“We seem to lack composure whenever the ball is in our posession on the last third of the pitch.

“We make some primary mistakes that end up costing points,” Maliehe said.

He said they have been doing lots of finishing on their training sessions and he hopes all will be as planned before it is too late.

However the former Likuena skipper, Tšepo Hlojeng, said the goal scoring was not exactly the problem for the youthful Lesotho side.

He said the team just needed an outward striker who would always be there to cause havoc in the opponents’ defence.

“I have watched those guys playing, they play very well and are good on the ball they just need an outward striker who will always be there to disturb the opponents and who is accurate on shooting,” Hlojeng said, adding that the Lesotho Football Association had a responsibility to organise friendly games for each of the national teams before they could play competitive games.

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